Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and PeaceAble Cities: Evanston are inviting all Evanston households to host two or three Northwestern University students for dinner on Thursday, Oct. 6. 

Joey Rodger of PeaceAble Cities says, “Wonderful young people come to Evanston every year to learn and grow at Northwestern.  Many Evanstonians never know any of them, nor do most students know  our diverse, thoughtful residents. This year we can change all that.”

“You don’t need to be a fabulous cook, a witty raconteur, or even a perfect housekeeper.  Just be willing to set a few extra places at dinner Oct. 6 and welcome new students to share their stories and hopes over some food, Roger adds.

Residents can sign up by Friday, Sept. 30, on the PeaceAble Cities website.

Rogers says PeaceAble Cities will send names and email addresses of the students selected for you a few days before the event, and participants will be asked to contact the students directly to see if they need transportation or other help getting to the dinner.

She says the group will try to match students and host households for particular food needs such as vegetarian practice or keeping Kosher and for pet or serious food allergies.

For more information call Peaceable Cities: Evanston at 847-475-5740 or email

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. This is supposed to prevent violence?

    If I'm not mistaken, this group was launched in response to the various murders and shootings occurring all around town over the past year.

    It is part of the same movement that spawned the "paper plate brigade" who stood in front of McDonald's with peace signs printed on paper plates thinking that will somehow deal with the city's entrenched criminal element.

    Well if that didn't work, certainly having Northwestern students eat dinner with residents will work to "promote respect and prevent violence" since those NU students are clearly the majority of the criminals in the city.

    According to the PeaceCities website:

    "Our Mission: We will stimulate, coordinate, and support the efforts of all in our community who strive to promote respect and prevent violence. Our goal is a completely peaceable city by 2020."

    Why not work to throw criminals in jail and pressure judges to actually sentence criminals to hard time instead of promoting this dippy program?

  2. PeaceAble Cities: Evanston Strategy

    Dear friend,

    Many have parts to play in creating a city free of violence.  As I'm certain you know, Evanston residents do not have the authority to throw folks in jail. We have a police department for that, and a very good one. We community residents do have the invitation, every single day, to live respectfully and kindly with all our neighbors. 

    PeaceAble Cities: Evanston is beginning our work by holding a series of community conversations, the recent Peaceble Cities 9/11 Walk and Talk, and now this chance for residents and NU students to begin to know one another.  We believe (along with Dr.James Gilligan of the Harvard Medical School) that most violence is the result of shame and humiliation visited on unresilient people. Our starting point is to create a respectful community, reducing the shame and humiliation felt by others.  This means fostering connections among people as well as respecting and supporting the work of those working directly to prevent violence, to intervene when it happens, and to restore people to community once justice has been served.

    In the annals of crime prevention work there are effective strategies for preventing every kind of violence known to human beings.  We have to care enough about one another to implement these strategies.  This won't happen if we don't know each other.  So, right now, we are  trying to help that happen.

    You are welcome to bring your ideas for strategic actions to us.  Feel free to contact us directly at

    With best wishes,

    Joey Rodger, Acting Executive Director, PeaceAble Cities: Evanston

    1. Please explain how this is supposed to fight violence?

      Joey, I am still confused.  Are you calling on Evanston's criminals to invite NU students over for dinner so they know that the students are good kids and won't rob them?  

      If you're calling on normal Evanstonians to invite NU students over for dinner, how would that possibly impact violence?  Actually most violence is between people who are acquainted with one another.  By meeting strangers could you actually increase the pool of one's adversaries?

      When I see crime or suspicious activity going on I call the cops.  Whether I have a bunch of students over at the house for dinner isn't going to make a difference on that front.

  3. Not a great night

    Would have been nice if someone had checked a calendar. Most Jewish people in Evanston are preparing for their holiest day of the year.  Dinner guests the night before a major holiday?  Maybe we could hold this the night before Easter or on Christmas Eve instead.

    1. Indicative of a cockamamie plan.

      Ignoring Yom Kippur is just part and parcel of this ill-thought out idea. This group claims to be for inclusiveness and wants to "combat violence," and they come up with ineffectual ideas like this and exclude adherents to a major religion.

    2. Yes, a great night

      We are Jewish, and we were delighted to host three Northwestern students tonight. There is no way that having had them over for dinner tonight somehow interferes with our plans to attend services tomorrow evening and Saturday.

      Why all the mean-spirited comments about this community event? Hospitality is central to every religion. We are grateful to Evanston Now for publicizing this opportunity.

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